Indian government endorses PM’s statement on Kashmir

STORY: The government of India has welcomed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement that there can be no business with Pakistan after the previous week’s skirmishes along the Line of Control in which two Indian soldiers were killed and their bodies were also mutilated.

Federal Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Manish Tewari stated this in New Delhi on Tuesday (January 15).

Earlier Indian Army chief General Bikram Singh had turned the heat on Pakistan by voicing similar views.

His comments amid mounting public anger at the alleged decapitation of one of the slain soldiers appeared set to ratchet up tensions further with Pakistan, although analysts said a breakdown in ties was highly unlikely.

However, Islamabad has blamed India for the latest crisis in ties.

Both armies have lost two soldiers each in the fighting along parts of the 740-km (460-mile) ceasefire line this month.

Last week’s fighting was the worst outbreak of violence in Kashmir, the Himalayan region both nations claim, since the two sides agreed a ceasefire nine years ago.

The two nations have fought three wars, two over Kashmir, since independence in 1947 and now both are nuclear-armed.

In the background of these trends, Manish Tewari said that Manmohan Singh’s statement conveys the seriousness of the Indian government on the ceasefire violation by neighbouring Pakistan.

“As reported there cannot be business as usual after this barbaric mutilation of Indian soldiers. It is obviously conveying the seriousness with which the government has taken this reprehensible and dastardly action. However having said that I think it is important that the calibration and spectrum of the response both diplomatic and tactical should be left to the foreign office and the national security establishment,” said Tewari.

Meanwhile, India’s main opposition, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that Pakistan would only understand the language of a controlled military response.

Federal lawmaker and senior leader of BJP Yashwant Sinha expressed these views in New Delhi.

“For incidents of the kind that have happened at the LoC (Line of Control) recently, the only language that Pakistan will understand is that language of a control military response. The government of India should tell the Indian Army that they should plan and execute a controlled military response,” said lawmaker and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha.

The restive region of Kashmir is at the core of troubles between India and Pakistan who each control it in parts but claim it in full.

Muslim Pakistan contests that and demands implementation of a 1948 U.N. Security Council resolution for a plebiscite to determine the wishes of the mostly Muslim people of Kashmir.